It is four strikes and you're out for NBC's Megyn Kelly. Over the years, Kelly, who is now 47, has made many slips of the tongue. In the past, she has apologized, and everyone winked and gave her a pass. Out of nowhere, while interviewing 80-year-old Jane Fonda about her newest movie, Kelly asked the uber-beauty about her plastic surgery. A stunned Fonda asked if they were going to go there. To be fair, I have spent over 40 years interviewing stars. I certainly have had my share of "Oh my God, did I just ask that?" moments. Perhaps a producer was humming in Kelly's earpiece to ask the question. Who knows.
Kelly has made a handful of questionable comments. She has said that Jesus is white, Santa Claus is white and that's just how it is, folks. Many theories suggest Jesus was not a European blonde but a man of dark hair and swarthy skin. As for Saint Nick, he just looks like the guy in the Coca-Cola commercials with flowing locks, chubby cheeks and nonstop smile.
Kelly's latest gaff has done her in. She suggested that there is nothing wrong with white people dressing up in blackface for Halloween. Blackface is disrespectful to black people, as they were being demeaned as minstrels. Years ago, when Whoopi Goldberg was dating Ted Danson, he showed up in blackface. It was not a pretty sight. He and Whoopi made the cover of several tabloids and apologized, but almost everyone who saw the photos was stunned. Check it out on YouTube. Your mouth will drop to the floor.
Kelly went the apology route. No one listened. Her agent fired her, and NBC has followed. "House of Cards" stars backed out of appearing on her show; "House of Cards" is the show that employed Kevin Spacey for years.
Kelly replaced Al Roker and Tamron Hall for the third hour of the "Today" show. Ratings took a nosedive. Roker went on-air saying that Kelly owned an apology to all people of color. I worked with Roker in Cleveland: great guy, class act, but he does not suffer fools gladly. He does not create trouble, but he will speak his mind.
Kelly was hired for $20 million a year. She has several years left on her contract. NBC may have to cough up $69 million if they break the contract.
For some reason, networks don't get it. They hire Katie Couric, Rosie O'Donnell, etc. for a gazillion bucks. When the shows sputter, they pay them their money and they move on to another gig and the network looks for the next "talk-show star."
It has been suggested that networks do not bring on new soap operas because they cost too much. But no soap would cost $20 million a year to produce. The extra hour of "Good Morning America" is getting lower ratings than "The Chew," which it replaced. Just how many times a week can you see the same movie star talk about their book or be taught how to turn a purse into a lampshade?
To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.